Best Buy sent me the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 to try and review here on the blog. As you’ll read below, I was really impressed; it is an amazing printer and I just wish I did not have to send it back!
Progress your art with a great photo printer
For those who love to create photographs, a lot of the enjoyment is in the process itself; getting your equipment ready, setting out to find your subject, that moment when everything aligns and you press the shutter button, and of course nowadays we get that instant feedback from the back of our cameras.
But the aspect of photography that we too often neglect is the printing of the final image. This is perhaps the most satisfying aspect of the photographic process. It’s the point at which all your efforts to get a great photo finally come together and are realized in a tangible form. It’s great to share images online and get feedback from friends, but the problem is they tend to disappear from view pretty quickly and are forgotten. I believe that in order to progress your art, you need to review your work over a longer period of time, and the best way to do this with photography is to hang your photos on your walls.
Prints that last for decades
Which brings me to the subject of today’s review; the Canon PIXMA Pro-100. As the name suggests this is a professional grade printer, capable of producing top quality prints. It carries 8 ink cartridges, 3 of which are dedicated to creating great black and white prints; grey, light grey, and of course black. The dye based ChromaLife 100+ system is designed to improve the longevity of your prints and under normal circumstances (e.g. not exposed to full sunlight on a regular basis) you can expect your prints to show zero degradation for about 30 years. This is such an improvement over the old family photos we kept in a shoe box that were quickly faded and yellowed! The other great feature of the system is something called migration resistance, which means the ink particles won’t move and cause the image to lose sharpness.
ChromaLife 100+ relies on something called the FINE print head technology, which stands for ‘Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering’ and is capable of printing at a resolution of 4800×2400 dots per inch, which is really impressive.
Handle this printer with care
The first thing that struck me as I unboxed the Pro-100 was just how heavy it is—don’t be too proud to ask for help when you’re moving it around, particularly if you have a dodgy back! I suggest you find a place where the printer can reside on a permanent basis and park it there. You’ll probably want to move this unit as little as possible. It’s a pretty minimal and unremarkable machine in terms of aesthetics, with just three buttons on the front panel, and no LCD screen.
Easy to set up photo printer
You do need to do a little bit of work in order to set up the printer, which I found pretty straightforward, although I have owned a PIXMA printer in the past, and one other large format professional printer. Nevertheless, I think most users will find the installation of the print head and the inks a piece of cake. The one thing I did notice as I was installing the print head is that the mechanism that houses the print head takes a while to move to the central position when you open up the cover.
Something I’ve noticed about all printers is that they seem to have a mind of their own. They do a lot of ‘thinking’ as I like to call it, little movements and noises under the hood whose purpose is never obvious. The PIXMA Pro-100 is no exception in this regard, so it’s best to be forewarned just in case you think it’s malfunctioning. After a while you may even grow to love the quirks of your printer and come to see it as more of a pet than a piece of technology.
Inks included with the printer
I was a little bit worried before I unboxed the Pro-100 that it may be one of those Christmas morning scenes where the toy arrives without batteries. Thankfully all eight ink cartridges were included as well as 5 sheets of Canon Luster 8.5″x11″ photo paper. I was hoping to find a sheet of 13″x19″ but no such luck. I did have a sheet of 17″x22″ paper on hand which I was able to cut down to size fortunately. It’s always nice to see a big print landing on the output tray.
Wireless printing that works seamlessly
The printer comes with CD containing the software required to run the Pro-100, but as my PC doesn’t have a CD drive I had to go online to download the driver from the Canon website. The driver installed seamlessly, and then I had to connect the printer to my PC via USB so that it could get connected to my wireless network. Once it did that however I as able to print wirelessly and this is where the PIXMA Pro-100 really comes into it’s own. It is really cool to be able to work in one room and print in another, without the need for a wired connection.
Printing from an iPhone
I was also able to print to the Pro-100 directly from my iPhone, without installing any new apps or in fact making any changes at all to the phone. Apple’s AirPrint technology handles the communication, and I was really impressed with how easy it was to do. I printed on one of the supplied 8.5″x11″ sheets and I was a little worried that the print might come out printed in the wrong orientation or something, and I assumed it would have a sizing issue and come out with borders, but lo and behold it came out in the right orientation and printed to fit the entire page. Without doubt the most seamless print job I have ever done. And the quality of the print is absolutely first rate, a very good reproduction of the image on my phone.
In case you’re still wondering whether or not you can print the photos from your smartphone, let me tell you that you most definitely can, and with the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 you’ve got the perfect printer to fulfill your vision.
All in all, I’m very impressed with the Pro-100. Easy to set up, easy to use, and excellent results.